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Ireland's Toxic Banks: The Cancer at the Heart of a Troubled Economy

World Bank's Zoellick Says He Does Not Favor a Gold Standard(CNBC) In a conversation with CNBC, World Bank president and former U.S. Treasury official Robert Zoellick, said he was not suggesting a return to a gold standard, but that he favors a more international currency system that involves the dollar, euro, yen, pound, and yuan (For more on the gold standard debate and related topics, see my interview with Nouriel Roubini from yesterday.)

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Ireland's Toxic Banks: The Cancer at the Heart of a Troubled Economy (WSJ) How bad is it? €50 billion may be needed to plug the hole. While that figure may not seem overwhelming compared with our TARP numbers remember this: Ireland's population is only a little over 6 million – around 2.5 million fewer people than New York City. That works out to a dismal $50,000 per household.

General Motors Posts $2 Billion Profit Days Ahead of Its IPO(New York Times) This is the largest quarterly profit for GM in 11 years. GM also projected their first full year profit since 2004. GM is estimated to be worth at least $10.6 billion.

Tax Cut Compromise? (WSJ) Democrats and Republicans are discussing the timing, duration, and tax levels at various brackets in an attempt to hammer out a compromise on the expiration of the current tax cuts.

Index Futures Trend Down(ABC News via Reuters) "Concerns over the effects of the U.S. Federal Reserve's asset purchases and European sovereign debt kept the lid on stock index futures on Wednesday, while a stronger dollar and weaker commodity prices weighed on global equities."